Steve and Elaine Pozycki’s opinion piece on heroin addiction published in Daily Record

OPINION: Over-prescribing painkillers fuels heroin rise

The Centers from Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) July report documents a disturbing increase in heroin use. The use of this highly addictive and dangerous drug is now expanding to all demographic groups.

In fact, the most rapid expansion of heroin use and addiction is now occurring among segments of the population that up until recently were not as impacted: women and those with higher incomes. This signals a disturbing widening of a problem that had already reached epidemic proportions. Deaths from heroin overdoses have tripled over the past several years with more than 8,000 people now dying annually.

Read the whole article here.

N.J. bill gives warning on dangers of painkillers

By Elaine Pozycki and Steve Pozycki

The over-prescribing of prescription painkillers is the main source of today’s opiate addiction epidemic.

Three out of four people who are addicted to heroin and other opiates started with a prescription pain reliever. Opiate overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, as well as in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. About 25,000 people die each year from these overdoses: 17,000 from opiate-based prescription painkillers, such as Vicodin and oxycodone, and 8,000 from heroin.

Read whole article.

Legislation Would Require NJ Doctors to Discuss Opiate Addiction

From NJTV –
By Brenda Flanagan

“I was a heroin user. And I started off taking pills,” said Sharon Daniels.

Daniels says she kicked the habit but notes a steady stream of people come to Trenton’s Hanover Street looking to buy drugs.

“For five Percocets, real Percocets, it might cost you $50. If you use pills, there’s good chance you’re gonna be on your way to heroin. Shooting or snorting. The street value of heroin is much cheaper than buying pills,” she said.

Read complete article here.

Requiring doctors to check prescription database could help stem N.J.’s opiate epidemic

Read a recent Opinion article by Elaine and Steve Pozycki in the Star Ledger

Gov. Chris Christie’s use of the bully pulpit to shine a light on the epidemic of opiate addiction in our state has begun to generate a long overdue public conversation about the most effective ways to solve the problem. Certainly, expanding access to treatment as the Governor proposes is a key component of any comprehensive solution.

Read complete Opinion article here.


Read a recent Op-ed by Elaine and Steve Pozycki in NJ Spotlight:

Over the past two decades, the number of prescriptions for opiate-based painkillers has tripled, while dosages have grown stronger

The prime source for the national explosion of opiate addiction — whether in the form of painkillers such as OxyContin or in the form of illegal street drugs such as heroin — is the dramatic increase in the use of opiate-based prescription drugs. Over the past 20 years, there has been a threefold increase in the number of prescriptions issued for opiate-based painkillers, as well as a major step-up in dosage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Healthcare providers wrote 259 million prescriptions in 2012 alone. Further, it has been well-documented that some people when they can no longer get access to prescription painkillers feed their opiate addiction by turning to heroin.

Read complete Op-ed here.


Over-the-counter pain medications are more effective for acute pain than prescribed painkillers

From the NSC:

Today the National Safety Council released a white paper, Evidence for the efficacy of pain medications, compiling research showing the combination of over-the-counter pain medications ibuprofen and acetaminophen are more effective at treating acute pain than opioid painkillers. As patients find that they are unable to refill their hydrocodone prescription, this paper presents alternatives that should be discussed with their physician.